June 6, 1922 to Feb. 6, 2003
Ruth June Madsen Donovan, 80, passed away peacefully at home with her family.
Ruth was born on June 7, 1922, in Everly, Iowa, the third child of Clarence and Dora (Krueger) Madsen. She spent her early years around the Hartley, Iowa, area and moved with her family to Billings in 1933. She graduated from Billings High School in 1940 and then attended Billings Business School.
Ruth married John Donovan on Dec. 14, 1941 (seven days after Pearl Harbor). They lived in Denver; North Carolina; Roseburg, Ore.; before returning to Billings in 1950. Ruth worked for Curley Naylor Electric, Coca-Cola and Montana Power Company, retiring as office manager in 1981. After retirement, Ruth and John spent 18 winters as snowbirds in Apache Junction, Ariz.
Ruth was a member of the First Christian Church. She loved to sew, do needlepoint and knit. Her special love was her family - she loved having family meals and everyone around. She also enjoyed a game of cards.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Dora Madsen; sister, Viola Frates; in-laws, Zoolamay and David Donovan; sisters-in-law, Marjorie Madsen and Jeanie Donovan.
She is survived by her husband, John, of 61 years; son Gary (Carol) of Billings; daughters, Diane Sweeney of Plano, Texas, and Sandy (Dave) Doll of Billings; 11 grandchildren, Wayne (Grace) of Austin, Texas, Kelly (Jamie), Ryan and Kevin Donovan of Billings, Jason, Greg Sweeney and Jeanette (Chuck) Bowers of Plano, and Suzie (Eric Egge), Eagan, Minn., Tim (Traci Lauber), Casper, Wyo., Brad and Becky Doll of Billings; and one great-granddaughter, Isabella Grace Donovan of Austin, Texas. She is also survived by brother Vern (Joyce) Madsen; sister Noreen Crogan and brother-in-law Harold Donovan; numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Dr. Gerstner and staff, Big Sky Hospice - Nina, Donna, Pam, Becky, Melissa, Lee and Ron Bough, Terry and Marietta Zollinger, and Bonnie for her hugs.
Funeral services will be held Monday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m., at the First Christian Church, 522 N. 29th St. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Smith Downtown Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be directed to Big Sky Hospice, First Christian Church or Northern Rockies Cancer Center.